Daily Archives: July 28, 2013

Wannabe voters ‘in suspense’ are less partisan

More than 12,000 Kansans’ right to vote is in limbo, with their registrations held “in suspense” due to the new state law requiring proof of citizenship to register. It’s particularly concerning that, according to the Lawrence Journal-World, some of those whose registrations have been delayed say they already presented documents verifying citizenship to their driver’s license office. A legislative panel recently declined Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s request to let such wannabe voters cast provisional ballots in upcoming local elections because, as League of Women Voters of Kansas president Dolores Furtado noted, “It doesn’t fix the problem, it just disguises it.” The more than 12,000 suspended voters are less partisan – 57 percent unaffiliated, 23 percent Republicans and 18 percent Democrats – than the state’s more than 1.7 million already registered voters, who are 45 percent Republicans, 30 percent unaffiliated and 25 percent Democrats.

So they said

“Welcome back to the jobs conversation, Mr. President.” – Sen. Pat Roberts (in photo), R-Kan., in a statement responding to President Obama’s economic speech

“Had yesterday’s vote been taken by secret ballot, like the secret spying of #NSA, it would’ve passed. #Irony” – Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, tweeting Thursday about his “no” vote on the failed amendment to limit the National Security Agency’s data collection

“3 hops of snooping should make citizens hoppin mad!” – Huelskamp, also on Twitter, about House testimony that NSA analysts look “two or three hops” from suspects when evaluating terror activity

“The real damage isn’t to Tim Huelskamp in western Kansas or Mike Pompeo in Wichita. The real damage is to Republican presidential hopefuls.” – KU political science professor Burdett Loomis, to Bloomberg Businessweek, describing the House GOP zeal to cut food stamps as “another one of these 47 percent things”

“It’s like they’re living in some bizarro world.” – Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, about the Brownback administration’s rosy reports about KanCare, the state’s privatization of Medicaid

2013 may have ended Riverfest’s slump

It was great to learn that button sales for the recent Wichita River Festival were up 38 percent over last year, with the 104,000 total sold the most in five years. Festival revenues were $170,000 more than 2012, too, positioning the festival to turn a profit for the first time since 2008. The positive numbers certainly match the mood of the 2013 festival, which had mostly good weather, smart programming and nice crowds. Mary Beth Jarvis, the CEO of Wichita Festivals since November, still has some challenges to work through, including questions about whether this year’s tight fencing and button policing diminished the festival’s free spirit. But 2013 may have ended Riverfest’s slump.